Almost nothing

I miss talking to my father-in-law, Lonnie.

Lonnie could fix anything, and if there was anything he loved more than fixing things, it was helping you fix them. He devoted much of his retirement to serving churches and going on mission trips to help others fix things.

I would call Lonnie when I’d get stuck with something I was working on. Say, I was trying to replace a starter motor on an old car, and there was a bolt that I couldn’t get the wrench around.

“Did you pray about it?” Lonnie would ask.

Of course I hadn’t.

Outside of the resurrection, the only miracle mentioned in all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, is the feeding of the 5000. In the Gospel of John, Jesus asked for Philip’s advice on what to do.

Philip had nothing.

Then Andrew spoke up. Andrew had found a boy with five small barley loaves and two fish. Think dinner rolls and sardines.

Almost nothing.

But with Jesus it was enough.

In his first miracle, Jesus involved some servants by telling them to fill some stone jars with water before turning the water into wine.

His last miracle in John 21 involved the disciples in a miraculous catch. “Bring some of the fish you caught,” he told them. But Jesus didn’t need their fish. He already had breakfast cooking. And wasn’t he the one who caught the fish?

There is a line in the great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress,” which goes, “We will not fear for God has willed his truth to triumph through us.”

Jesus doesn’t need us to do the miracle, but he chooses to work his power through us.

I wonder. Maybe my father-in-law was so good at fixing things because he was always aware of God’s presence, always willing to be the channel of God’s power.

What is more amazing, that Jesus can do miracles?

Or that Jesus chooses to perform his miracles through us, even if we bring almost nothing?

With Jesus, “almost nothing” can be quite enough.

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